All Posts By

kaldridge

Granny’s Monkey Bread Review

By | Food | No Comments

Monkey see — Monkey do! I have always always always loved monkey bread. I remember having this as a special treat on Christmas morning and it was always the perfect breakfast. So for our 5-year anniversary this year I decided to make this breakfast for my husband and I! I thought this Granny’s Monkey Bread from Self Proclaimed Foodie sounded amazing! So today is my review of this recipe. Please note the original recipe is linked below for your reference.

Overall Review: 3/5

Before I get to the ingredients and instructions based on my experience, I did want to go over my review of this recipe. I personally think this turns out a bit more ‘buttery’ than I would like. It was still really good and tasty, especially right out of the oven. But the butter taste is pretty overwhelming. I did post all the pictures from my experience so you can see the steps and how everything turned out. I definitely will try another monkey bread recipe in the future! If you have a good Monkey Bread recipe I should try let me know if the comments!

Granny’s Monkey Bread Review

My review of Granny's Monkey Bread from Self Proclaimed Foodie

Ingredients
  

  • 24 ounces Buttermilk Biscuits
  • 1 cup Sugar
  • 2 tsps Cinnamon
  • 1 cup Butter
  • 1/2 cup Brown Sugar

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
  • Cut the biscuits into sections of 4. Kitchen scissors are easier to cut if you have them!
  • Combine one cup of sugar and 2 tsps cinnamon in a bowl
  • Toss the cut biscuits in the sugar/cinnamon mixture — I had to do them in small groups to make sure they all got an even coating.
  • Once you have the pieces coated in the sugar/cinnamon mixture– carefully place them in the bundt pan
  • In a small saucepan place the remaining sugar/cinnamon mixture. Its supposed to be about a cup, if it doesn't fill a full cup I would personally add more to make sure you have a full cup
  • Add 1 cup(2 sticks) of butter to the saucepan
  • Let the ingredients melt together — I whisked them to get it to the right consistency
  • Pour this on top of the biscuits in the bundt pan. Try to make it as even as possible
  • Place in the oven for about 12-14 minutes until golden brown and no doughy butter comes out when you put a knife in it.
  • Flip the bundt pan on a plate and serve!

Notes

To see the full recipe from Self Proclaimed Foodie go to https://selfproclaimedfoodie.com/grannys-monkey-bread/.
 
 

Baja Grilled Flank Steak Salad Review & Recipe

By | Food | No Comments

It FINALLY feels like summer in Pittsburgh(or every other day does)! There is some heat again and that makes me crave summer foods! This Baja Grilled Flank Steak Salad sounded amazing so I decided to give it a shot! It’s super easy to make and takes very little time and effort. Perfect for the warm summer days ahead!

Overall Review: 4.2/5

The salad is easy to make and the steak seasoning is really good. I would go light on the romaine lettuce and add as necessary. The biggest suggestion I have with salads like this is to make sure that you get a bunch of ingredients in every bite. It makes the salad taste great and helps you avoid that bland lettuce taste! Its absolutely worth a shot and would be great for those days when you don’t want to spend hours cooking.

Baja Grilled Flank Steak Salad

Our review of this recipe from SkinnyTaste!
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 25 mins

Ingredients
  

  • Cumin
  • Chipotle Chile Powder
  • Salt
  • Garlic Powder
  • Paprika
  • Flank Steak
  • Lemon Juice
  • Scallions
  • Cilantro
  • Black Pepper
  • Corn
  • Romaine Wedges
  • Avocado
  • Cherry Tomatoes
  • Cotija Cheese

Instructions
 

  • Add cumin, chile powder, paprika, cumin, garlic powder, and salt in a bowl.
  • Mix spices and rub onto steak
  • Add lemon juice, lime juice, olive oil, cilantro and black pepper to a bowl and whisk to create your dressing.
  • Let your steak sit for 10-15 minutes with the rub on it
  • Put the steak on a medium-hot grill. I put it on for about 10 minutes and it was nice and pink.
  • Once the steak is done, set it aside. Letting it rest is important so don't skip this step!
  • Add romaine lettuce, cherry tomatoes, cheese, avacado and corn to the lettuce.
  • Cut your steak into bite size pieces and add to salad
  • Finally add the dressing and toss!
Up Close View

My Experience Trying to Make a Chocolate Souffle

By | Food | No Comments

Hi everyone! For some reason I have always wanted to make a chocolate souffle. Probably because in one of my favorite movies, Because I Said So, she makes chocolate souffles that look amazing! So when I went out to HomeGoods this weekend I bought some ramekins and the materials needed so I could give it a shot!

My first shot making this was a bit rough! Took me way too long and I definitely made some mistakes! I mean it still tasted good but was nowhere near correct. So today I had enough ingredients and decided to try it again! Definitely turned out a bit better but not perfect by any stretch! If you want to watch, I included the video below!

Overall Review: 4/5

This was an easy recipe to follow along with but there are definitely a lot of ways to screw it up. I think its one of those desserts that comes with time and practice. Especially to get it to rise correctly as mine keep rising crooked. I’ll continue to try recipes until I get one that works the best! There’s a Gordon Ramsey Raspberry one that I would love to try next.

Recipe is Chef Johns Chocolate Souffle from All Recipes. I included the link to the recipe here. If you try it let me know what you think!

Back to the Kitchen – Thai Chicken Curry Soup

By | Food | No Comments

Apparently, I was in a soup mood this week as Thai Chicken Curry Soup was also on the menu! I went to a different cookbook today, one that I’ve used for other recipes in the past and has always been good. This recipe comes from Freddie Prince Jr.’s Back to the Kitchen cookbook. There are several recipes I LOVE from this cookbook and highly recommend you buy it! Click here for the Back to the Kitchen Cookbook.

Ingredients you will need:

  • 3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 1 Medium Yellow Onion, Halved, Thinly sliced
  • 1 Red Bell Pepper, Thinly sliced
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 1 can unsweetened coconut milk
  • 2-4 Tablespoons Thai Red Curry Paste
  • 1 Pound Boneless chicken chicken breast (thinly sliced)
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 4 ounces pad Thai-style rice vermicelli noodles
  • 1/4 cup green onions
  • 1 jalapeno chile slivered

Butternut Squash Soup with Prosciutto Crisps

By | Food | No Comments

Comfort food at its finest! Any kind of squash soup is seriously the perfect comfort food. And while it is getting warmer out there, with everything going on in the world, sometimes you need some good comfort food. Today we are cracking open Chrissy Teigen’s Cravings cookbook again and trying her Butternut Squash Soup!

Ingredients you will need:

  • 1 large butternut squash – Peeled, seeded and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 5 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 16 sage leaves
  • 1 medium onion – chopped
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 6 Prosciutto Crisps

Let’s start with the butternut squash, it needed to be cut, peeled and seeded. I have NEVER done this before. Seriously, was not entirely sure how to do it so I googled how to do it like anyone else. Gimme Some Oven has a great step by step tutorial that you can access here: How to Cut Butternut Squash. Definitely soften the squash because otherwise it is a giant pain to cut and peel!

After you get the squash peeled and cut into cubes place it into a mixing bowl and put one tablespoon olive oil, and your salt and pepper into the bowl. Mix until all the pieces have the mixture on them. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in large pot and put it on medium heat. Then place half of your squash in the pot and make sure they are in a single layer, they should not be overlapping or in two rows. Don’t move the squash for 7 minutes while the bottoms get soft and browned. Flip the squash and pull up any brown bits, let sit for another 5 minutes and then add a splash of chicken broth to get the remaining brown bits. Transfer to a mixing bowl and repeat the process with the second batch of squash. Only difference is the second batch stays in the pot.

While the second batch of squash is cooking get your other ingredients prepared. Grab 4 sage leaves and finely chop them. Then take a medium onion and chop that into small pieces. Once your second batch of squash is cooked, take your onion, sage and garlic and add them to the mixture. Let this sit for 8-9 minutes while the onion cooks and becomes translucent. After that, add the rest of the chicken broth and let it simmer for 25 minutes so the squash gets soft and starts to come apart.

While the squash is simmering, work on your crisp sage leaves and prosciutto. Bring about 1/2 inch of olive oil to a hot simmer. Then add batches of sage leaves, I recommend 3 at a time so its easy to manage, to the oil. They will quickly cook, it only takes about 10 second. Then pull them out onto a paper towel so the excess oil gets soaked up. For the prosciutto, line a baking sheet with parchment or foil. Then layer the prosciutto in a single line so nothing is overlapping. Put in the oven at 400 degrees for about 12 minutes. They will come out nice and crispy. Both the sage leaves and prosciutto need set aside until the end.

Once you have your cooked squash, transfer to a blender. Mine fit in one batch but you may need two depending on your blender. Blend the mix for a few minutes until the pieces are mixed together. This only took 2-3 minutes at the most.

Pour your blended mixture back into the pot and add your heavy cream and mix. Then put the pot on low and let the cream and soup blend and heat up to a nice temperature. Move your soup to individual bowls. Once in individual bowls add a small spoonful of heavy cream to the top. Then add the crispy prosciutto and two crisp sage leaves. You are then good to serve!

Overall Review Score: 4/5

All in all, I would say this was a fantastic recipe. It definitely took some time, but the flavors in the soup are fantastic! For those who love squash this is definitely the recipe for you! If you try the recipe let me know what you think below!

xoxo- Kayla

Inadequate but Ready to be Used by God

By | Lifestyle | No Comments
Find my looks on: https://www.liketoknow.it/cultivateconfidence

Do you ever feel tragically inadequate? I’ve definitely had moments in my life where I feel incredibly inadequate, where everything I do just doesn’t seem to be enough. Where it feels like you just can’t make a difference in this world? I am not a psychiatrist, and I don’t know much, but I do know that these feelings happen to everyone in one way or another. It’s because we want to be the best version of ourselves and when that doesn’t happen we panic. Especially for those of us with anxiety to begin with.

But those who feel inadequate are exactly who God is looking to use. He wants to use your imperfections, he wants to use your shortcomings to show His glory. With everything that is going on in the world, its easy to feel inadequate and stuck in what could you do? What could you, a lowly person, do to help fix the world? How could you make a difference?

I would argue that you CAN and SHOULD be used. God wants to use you to show His glory. And I think that starts in your community and home. Be the change that you want to see in the world. If you want to see less racism in the world, then speak out and let your actions speak louder than those words. If you want to see those in poverty get help and get on their feet; get out and help your community. Help the shelters in your community. Speak up and assist those who are in need, don’t stay silent, let God use you. But do it the way He wants you too.

Make the change with love, joy, peace, patience and endless grace. We are called to be like God, we are called to different than the world. Let me state this again, this isn’t staying silent, its using your platform and influence to make a difference. It’s words accompanied by action. It’s not one or the other. Get out and show the world what Gods kingdom and people are all about.

That means getting out and being DIFFERENT. Be different than the world — be BETTER. Be the person who loves everyone, regardless of skin-tone or background. Be the person who stands up for those who can’t stand up for themselves. Be the one who is humble enough to help those who are in need. Help those who are in need of food, shelter or water. I think the biggest thing we face is not CAN we help, its getting out of our own way and saying we WILL help. We will be different and make a difference, we will be better than we were before.

I do not have all the answers, but Jesus does. Jesus has instructed us how to live, how to live a life that glorifies Him. Whenever you feel anger, frustrations, stress, anxiety and especially inadequacy turn to Him and let Him guide you.

I listed a few verses that I think really apply to these situations. For when we don’t know what to do, turning to scripture is always an option.

“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” – Romans 12:2

“But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.” – 1 Samuel 16:7

“Let all that you do be done in love.” – 1 Corinthians 16:14

“So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” – 1 Corinthians 10:31

We were all created in the image of God. We are all brothers and sisters in Christ. Let’s act like it and be better.

Find my looks on: https://www.liketoknow.it/cultivateconfidence

Super Tuna Melts – Cravings Review

By | Food | No Comments

If you like trying new things, this recipe is for you! Let me start by stating this as clearly as I can…. you need to like tuna to like this recipe. Warm tuna is a texture and taste that is very unique and specific. If you don’t like tuna or have a mild liking of it, be weary before trying this.

The ingredients on their own are good and what you would expect in a sandwich melt. I honestly believe the only thing that would make you not like this sandwich is the consistency or the warm tuna taste. But its always worth trying, so I recommend it!

Overall, I would say that while this is not my favorite recipe, its not bad at all! Like I mentioned before, this recipe is perfect for any tuna lover! So give it a shot and let me know what you think!

Here are the ingredients you need per Chrissy Teigens Cookbook and photos with instructions on how to cook it.

  • 2 (5 ounce) Cans of water packed tuna (drained)
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped onion
  • 2 tablespoons sweet pickle relish
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • Salt and Black Pepper
  • 4 Tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 4 slices white country bread
  • 6 slices vine-ripened-tomatoes
  • 6 cheddar cheese slices
All the ingredients you will need.
Drained Tuna
Final Product — Add mango slices to go with it.

If you try it, let me know what you think in the comments!

Recipe Review is from Chrissy Teigens Cravings Cookbook.

Lemony Arugula Spaghetti Cacio E Pepe – Cravings Review

By | Food | 4 Comments

Hi y’all! Hope you all are staying safe and healthy during this crazy pandemic!

Today we are going to be testing this recipe from Chrissy Teigens Cravings cookbook. I particularly like this recipe because most of the ingredients are items that you would have in your kitchen. I personally have to go out and get a few items but that is because we just moved and the fridge is basically empty. So, if you don’t know this already, my husband is a huge meat eater. It’s just what he does, so I added some meat to the side of this pasta for him. But to keep my review honest we will keep the pasta on par with the recipe!

But if you ever feel like a recipe is light, adding chicken or salmon to the meal will help you feel fuller afterwards. I will do a post on how I cook chicken and salmon soon!

So let’s get into it.

Recipe Ingredients:

  • Salt
  • 12 oz dried spaghetti
  • 1/4 pound pancetta or bacon finely diced(about 3/4 cup)
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons minced garlic (4 cloves)
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 2 teaspoons black pepper
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 cups Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • 3 cups baby arugula

Start off by boiling the water and getting the spaghetti going. Then chop up the bacon or pancetta and get that into a skillet. Let me just say that the bacon taste is very prominent in this dish, so make sure its a flavor and brand of bacon that you LOVE. Trust me, you will be glad you did. Once you get the bacon nice and crispy you will add the olive oil, garlic, red pepper flakes, and black pepper. Let that season for 1 minute.

At this point, your pasta should be done and you can strain that while you finish your sauce. (Oh you need to keep one cup of the pasta water before you strain it.) Once the spices have blended(about a minute), add the lemon juice and pasta. Stir that in, add the parmiginao cheese and the pasta water and stir until combined. Once this is all combined as well as you can get it. Finally, add 3 cups of arugula and let that wilt and combine.

Overall, my husband loved the pasta and went back twice to get more! For us that is the sign of a good meal! If you try out this meal let me know your thoughts below!

My Year and A Half Living Full-Time in a Trailer

By | Lifestyle, RV Adventures, Travel | No Comments

We are finishing our time in our trailer and honestly it might be the most bitter-sweet thing I’ve ever experienced. I have loved every moment living in our travel trailer! It has grown my marriage, allowed me to experience so many unique places in the country, while also allowing my husband and I to stay together while working and finishing school. It’s done everything we needed and more and to let it go will be one of the hardest things.

Next week we are heading up to the Midwest to grab our things in storage and move to Pittsburgh to get settled before my husband starts his job at the local hospital. We are excited about the changes and its definitely the next right step for us. But its also so hard to let go of the year and a half of travel and memories that we have had in here. My husband will be the first to tell you that living in a trailer has been amazing. We will absolutely be buying one in the future and may even retire in one we loved it so much!

One of the best perks and the one I will always mention is how much its grown our marriage. Our travel trailer is 32 feet long so there is no room to hide! We have had to learn how to work together better than we did in the past. We were together all the time, had no family or friends around and lived in a confined space. So we had to learn to be more patient, be more understand, let go of anger, and to be extrodinarily kind. And honestly we have fought far less in the last year and a half because of these lessons that we learned. We work together and enjoy quality time together in ways that wouldn’t have been possible without getting out and trying something new.

Travel trailer life pushes you to go outside and adventure, to not sit in front of the TV but to be active. Because the space is limited, we were forced to get out more and honestly we really learned how little we need in terms of possessions and a house. While we are moving to a bigger place, its not near as big as what we used to believe we needed. The goal will be to continue to limit the amount of items that we need and maintain a lifestyle of staying outside and active.

With all that being said, I want to highlight my top five moments from this adventure and hopefully inspire you to get out, try something new and maybe even buy a trailer!

1.) Our First Outdoor Movie – On the Side of the Trailer

My husband and I saved up all our money from Christmas and some of our savings to purchase a new projector. We were able to get the projector in January(a month or so after moving in) and used the side of the trailer to project the movie onto. We had our small electric outdoor fireplace, drinks, blankets and perfect chilly weather. The Greatest Showman played as we sang along and enjoyed just the perfect night together. One of many outdoor movie nights that we have been able to enjoy while roaming the country. It was one of those moments that was so simple but so perfect at the same time and was just a great outcome of our trailer life!

2.) Birthday Adventures – Seattle Addition

Our first big road trip from Seattle was the first time really getting out feet wet traveling with the trailer. The drive up was full of craziness between being extremely cold one nights sleep at the truck stop, singing and chatting the whole drive up. We loved every moment in Seattle and fell in love with the beauty of the area. So when my birthday came along, I was given free reign to choose all our activities without complaint! And I utilized every moment of it. We traveled to two of the major parks in the surrounding areas (3-4 hours away from Seattle each). Meaning that my poor hubby drove about 10 hours round trip that weekend so that I could go exploring and enjoy the views! He was such a sweetheart about it and I couldn’t have imagined a better birthday view.

3.) Drive to Washington DC

Honestly, this was the craziest day of our trip. This was the shortest distance that we needed to travel, only about 5 and a half hours. But it ended up taking us double that amount of time to get there. To start, we had endless issues getting the awning to go back up. Some small mechanism decided to break down the morning we were supposed to leave and it took us hours to get it up and ready for travel. Once we got the awning up and went to check out I noticed a giant hole in the siding of our travel! One that I had never seen before! It turns out the day before while mowing the grass areas, one of the staff hit a rock that went straight through the siding of the camper. So we had to deal with that and get an agreement for them to pay the repairs before we could head out. Then as we were driving we had a cabinet door fall and several other issues on the drive. But the reason it is ranked as one of my top memories is because it was a crazy day but we handled everything with grace, love and support. We didn’t argue, we just dealt with the issues and moved on! To me it was a sign of how much we had grown in our marriage in such a short time.

4.) Cooking In The Trailer

Some of my favorite memories are trying to figure out how to cool in a 20 year old trailer. There were many things that don’t work the same as modern technology. For example, the oven does not heat evenly, everything is centered to the front right so you have to be mindful of that when you are working. I burnt several items trying to cook things evenly and not realizing how burnt the bottom was getting! But it was unique and different and we spent this time together learning and growing. I tried endless new recipes and learned to clean (slightly) better than before by having such a small kitchen. It pushed me to be better about cleaning up quickly and more efficiently.

5.) Christmas Eve 2019

I was having a really hard time this Christmas being by ourselves and being in south Florida. The weather was 85 degrees out, beautiful and sunny but it didn’t feel at all like Christmas. I wasn’t able to skype with family on Christmas Eve and it was just all weighing on me. But my hubby was so kind and stepped up to make me feel better. Sitting with me while I cried, playing board games with me, and getting up early on Christmas to take photos with me at the beach. Sometimes its the small things that we do for others that mean the most.

Quarantine Series – Is it possible to be positive in the middle of a crisis?

By | Lifestyle | No Comments

I have seen a lot of posts recently about how the gravity of what’s going on has really weighed on everyone’s hearts. Its caused stress, anxiety and depression. As someone who has experienced all these emotions for a good chunk of my life, I can relate and empathize with everyone’s feelings.

It’s incredibly easy to get lost in the noise and the black hole of despair and panic. Many times it happens so gradually that you don’t notice it’s happened until its consuming all your thoughts. And being stuck in your home, while keeping yourself safe, is adding to the stress and anxiety in your life. But take heart and think about all that we have overcome in the past! We have overcome personal, social, regional and national catastrophes as a nation. And through it all we have come out stronger than we were before. Life is always going to throw things your way, it’s always going to have ups and downs. And as stressful and disheartening as those moments are, they teach us lessons. They teach us to be kinder, loving, smarter, and more confident. If we were to not face trials in life, we would not grow and succeed.

Staying positive through tragedy, embracing change and knowing that the future is bright is all you can do. Embrace the change, embrace the good and the bad, embrace the present and look to the future full of hope. Life will be crazy and the anxiety will run high at times. But you can find joy in the midst of anxiety. It is possible to feel all the emotions at once! Let them run — be positive while still being anxious. Be joyful while still feeling the pang of sorrow. It is when we suppress them that they can take over our lives. Be okay with things being stressful, anxious, overwhelming. But also be okay with joy and light being present as well. You can feel all the emotions and its okay to do so!

However you are feeling in the midst of this pandemic, remember that its okay to feel the emotions. It’s okay to be overwhelmed, but don’t be afraid to be positive as well. You aren’t negating the things going on in the world, you are just choosing to be a light in the midst of that darkness!